Technology plays a vital role in society, and in the daily lives of individuals. The world today is connected through wires, air waves, and digitally transmitted images. Information sharing through the internet in West Africa can literally save the lives of thousands of people.
More than 170 workers for the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provide healthcare services for hundreds of West African villagers. However, limited internet connectivity has caused a major communication problem between healthcare workers, emergency response experts in Atlanta, and workers stationed in remote locations of Sierra Leone, Mali, Liberia, and Guinea. The ability to gather and share information between ground bound volunteers and healthcare professionals is vital. In critical medical situations, the availability of medical and diagnostic technology can mean life or death.
Having access to current and accurate data during an epidemic can save lives, because information is relayed faster, usually within a matter of minutes. Without this technology information is gathered manually, usually on foot, and hours are crucial when lives are at stake. The CDC, through generous donations to the Global Disaster Response Fund has been able able to purchase servers, printers, cell phones, thermal scanners, handheld scanners, projectors, computers, and polymerase chain reaction machines to detect the absence or presence of the deadly Ebola virus.
Through the generous funding, of eHealth Africa, technology is now extended to Liberia, and other remote countries. The technology is strengthening these countries, and ensuring that data transfer during critical medical emergencies are being performed. This is the future of a strong infrastructure system.
The biggest hurdle for the Center for Disease Control was the stability of electricity. However, generators were purchased, thanks to donations. The gasoline generators bring power to offices, so members of the healthcare teams can provide continuous assistance.
Without the integration of technology and generous donors, the in- depth response efforts during the Ebola epidemic would not have been possible. With the help of technology, lives are being saved in West Africa.